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5
Album Review

Paul Dunmall / Olie Brice: The Laughing Stone

Read "The Laughing Stone" reviewed by John Sharpe


Reedman Paul Dunmall and bassist Olie Brice have collaborated on many occasions, with Palindromes (West Hill Records, 2020) and John Coltrane 50th Memorial Concert At Cafe Oto (Confront, 2019) only the most recent offerings. They supplement that tally with The Laughing Stone, a studio duet captured in November 2021 in Birmingham, England. Now one of the elder statesmen of the British scene, the prolific Dunmall has appeared alongside luminaries ranging from Evan Parker to William Parker and many more ...

7
Extended Analysis

A Supreme Love

Read "A Supreme Love" reviewed by Duncan Heining


Alan Skidmore is one of the finest saxophonists to come out of the United Kingdom, Europe or indeed anywhere. In fact, it was hearing Skidmore's tenor solo on “Have You Heard?" from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (Decca, 1966) that encouraged a young Michael Brecker to take up the instrument. Skidmore had also served his apprenticeship with blues singer Alexis Kornerin the sixties and by the end of the decade was equally well-versed in the blues and in the ...

6
Album Review

Tony Oxley: Beaming

Read "Beaming" reviewed by John Eyles


Since 2010, album releases from drummer Tony Oxle (born 1938) have become increasingly scarce and poignant. A Birthday Tribute—75 Years (Incus, 2013) comprised live recordings from 1977 and 1993—featuring trombonist Paul Rutherford and guitarist Derek Bailey, respectively, both long gone—issued to mark Oxley's birthday. Its appearance on Incus was a reminder that Oxley was part of the threesome, along with Bailey and Evan Parker, which set up the influential label back in 1970. The years since ...

3
Album Review

Speak Easy: @ Konfrontationen

Read "@ Konfrontationen" reviewed by John Eyles


Recorded in July 2016, at Festival Konfrontationen in Nickelsdorf, Austria, this album consists of a single track lasting fifty-two minutes, which probably represented the entire Speak Easy set at the festival. Speak Easy comprises vocalists Ute Wasserman and Phil Minton, with Thomas Lehn on analogue synthesizer and Martin Blume on drums and percussion. The quartet previously released Backchats (Creative Sources, 2009), the same year its DVD The Loft Concert was issued (see YouTube below.) As Wasserman ...

4
Album Review

Hymn: Silence, Then Birds

Read "Silence, Then Birds" reviewed by John Sharpe


Under the moniker Hymn, the British threesome of trumpeter Chris Dowding, violinist Sylvia Hallett and electronicist David Ross present extemporized slices of understated minimalism distinguished by aching melodies emerging from a granular scratchy undertow. They maintain a taut balance between repetition, movement and noise on three tracks recorded live in London and Norwich, with outcomes variously hypnotic, soothing and spacious. The title cut begins with the sort of hiss which could be distant traffic or waves breaking on ...

3
Album Review

Cartoon: Change Of Meaning

Read "Change Of Meaning" reviewed by Roger Farbey


The Confront Recording's Collectors Series is distinguished by the packaging of its CDs which arrive in a DVD sized metal box. Rather than any cover art, there are instead simple stickers affixed to the front and rear denoting the artist, title and track names. The CD itself quaintly replicates the grooves and track markers of a vinyl record. These are limited edition runs of just a few hundred and sell at an attractively competitive price. But that's merely the icing ...

4
Album Review

Phil Durrant & Martin Vishnick: Rifinitori di momenti

Read "Rifinitori di momenti" reviewed by John Eyles


The fact that this duo exists is a testament to the network of improvised music workshops and venues that thrive in London, with interested musicians often hearing about them by word of mouth. One such workshop is Skronk, which is run every fortnight or so by New Zealand expat and saxophonist Rick Jensen, who welcomes all comers to New River Studios and selects a series of impromptu small groupings—who have frequently never met before—to play short improvised sets, often with ...

5
Album Review

Paul Dunmall's Sunship Quartet: John Coltrane 50th Memorial Concert At Cafe Oto

Read "John Coltrane 50th Memorial Concert At Cafe Oto" reviewed by John Sharpe


If John Coltrane had lived he would have been 90 in July 2019. It's fair to say that there has been no saxophonist anywhere near as influential since his passing in 1967. To mark the 50th anniversary of his death, percussionist Mark Wastell organized a concert headlined by two affirmed devotees of the great reedman, namely Paul Dunmall, leading his Sun Ship Quartet, and special guest Alan Skidmore, at London's esteemed Cafe Oto. This splendid double CD captures the entire ...

5
Album Review

Arild Andersen / Clive Bell / Mark Wastell: Tales Of Hackney

Read "Tales Of Hackney" reviewed by Roger Farbey


Tales Of Hackney features three leading improvisers, Arild Andersen, Mark Wastell and Clive Bell. Following a rare live performance at London's Cafe Oto in September 2017, the trio were inspired enough to proceed the very next day to Hackney Road Studios to produce the fifty minutes of transcendental music presented here. The renowned bass virtuoso Arild Andersen began his career playing in Jan Garbarek's group, appearing on Garbarek's debut album Til Vigdis (Norsk Jazzforbund, 1967) and a further ...

3
Album Review

Derek Bailey & Company: Klinker

Read "Klinker" reviewed by Roger Farbey


Derek Bailey and Will Gaines had already recorded together on Rappin' & Tappin' (Incus, 1994) and on the video Will (1995), so this archival session, captured live on Thursday 24 August 2000, at The Klinker in London, presents a further opportunity to hear this odd couple. Gaines was 72 at the time of this concert and the old hoofer, originally from Baltimore, had shared stages in the '50s with the likes of Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Django Reinhardt ...


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